The Simpsonville Police Department strongly encourages citizen efforts to coordinate Neighborhood Watch Programs. Community volunteers, not police officers, run this program. The volunteers coordinate the activities in their areas, arrange meetings, picnics and other social gatherings, and schedule crime prevention and safety training for the residents in their neighborhood.
What is Neighborhood Watch?
Neighborhood Watch is a group of citizens organized with the goal of taking an active role in making their community healthy and crime-free by working with law enforcement and other city resources. This is the basis of a strong community-policing program. A Neighborhood Watch Program is built through neighbors who identify community concerns and criminal activity and who work toward improving the quality of life in the community.
The program operates through a communication chain that includes the Police Area Representative (neighborhood officer), area representatives, block representatives and residents. Community members are made aware of resources at their disposal (i.e., Neighborhood Liaisons, Code Enforcement, etc.) to improve the quality of their communities. A volunteer citizen Neighborhood Watch board coordinates the program and is available as a resource.
Through Neighborhood Watch citizens learn:
*Neighborhood communication skills.
*Techniques to reduce the risk of being victimized.
*How to recognize and report suspicious activity.
*How to make homes more secure and properly identify property.
*How to maintain the appearance of the neighborhood.
*How to combat apathy in the neighborhood.
A Neighborhood Watch Program is not:
*A citizen vigilante group. A program that encourages personal risk.
*A guarantee that crime will not occur in a community.
Why should a community have a Neighborhood Watch Program?
*Helps develop a sense of community among residents.
*Improves quality of life, reducing fear of crime and making the neighborhood more livable.
*Provides a forum to address community and criminal issues.
*Reduces the risk of residents becoming crime victims.
*Prepares citizens to respond to suspicious activity.
*Adds to the overall security of the neighborhood.
Neighborhood Watch Program responsibilities:
*Coordinate overall plan for the Neighborhood Watch program.
*Recruit and train block representatives.
*Maintain updated list and area map of all participants in the Neighborhood Watch program.
*Meet with block representatives regularly to discuss neighborhood issues and develop strategies to address them.
*Plan neighborhood meetings and activities.
*Distribute information (newsletters, updates) to block representatives.
*Encourage neighborhood and block-by-block activities (meetings, parties and service projects).
*Are accessible to relay information among neighbors, block representatives and the PAR officer.
*Notify PAR officer when signage requirement has been met.
*Maintain updated list of all block residents.
*Distribute information door-to-door to residents. Include resources such as emergency phone numbers, as well as phone numbers for the area representative, block representative and PAR officer.
*Attend block representative meetings.
*Channel information between the area representative, PAR officer and residents.
*Are accessible to answer questions from residents and relay important information to and from the PAR officer.
*Encourage block activities (meetings, parties and service projects).
*Are involved. Get to know neighbors.
*Notify block representatives if you are going to be away from home for an extended period.
*Notify block representatives of any suspicious activity.
*Notify block representatives of any residents needing assistance.
*Attend neighborhood meetings.
*Implement suggested security measures.
*Participate in neighborhood activities.